RIGHT now, one of the most hated sports personalities in the planet is LeBron James.
Just check out the comments on social media, especially after his inglorius exit in Game 1 of the NBA finals.
Folks even take to duplicating James being carried off after suffering from cramps.
Right now, too, LeBron is one of the most loved personalities, just check out how his fans defend him, pointing out that the greatest basketball player of all time--Michael Jordan--himself suffered from stomach cramps in an NBA finals game.
Why such polarities?
There was a time when everyone, it seems, was a LeBron fan, but that all changed when “The Decision” happened. Some call it “The Derision,” a live canned interview where LeBron said he was leaving Cleveland for Miami.
Overnight, there were reports fans in Cleveland were burning his jerseys. That’s how much hate the decision generated. And almost everyone, save for Miami fans, wanted him to fail.
As for me, I chalk up that decision for “The Decision” to immaturity and greed of his handlers for a quick buck, but I don’t blame LeBron for leaving.
For every Michael Jordan who stayed with one team, there’s a Shaquille O’Neil who changed teams or, if you want MJ’s contemporary, Charles Barkley.
And if you guys want to keep trumping up how MJ would have played through cramps or that, you should acknowledge too, if you want to keep bringing The Decision, that the single most cringe-worthy event in all of sports was MJ’s Hall of Fame acceptance speech.
What did Jordan do? Well, not only did he lambast everyone in the basketball world, he also lambasted almost everyone he brought with him during the induction.
The incident made him almost like the Greatest Ego of All Time or the most-bitter athlete of all time.
It’s just Game 1 of the finals and “Crampgate” as some fans are calling it, is one hot topic.
I’m still for the Spurs, of course, but not because I want James to fail but because I want Tim Duncan to have one title before he calls it career.
And Decision or not, I hope James stays healthy for the rest of the series. Love him or hate him, he has changed basketball and the way we view the superstars.
Game 2, here we go!
By the way, here’s an interesting tidbit brought up by sportswriters. The Miami Heat have won all five series with LeBron whenever they lose Game 1.
SHE WINS AGAIN. Ten years after winning her first grand slam title, Maria Sharapova is the French Open champion anew, downing Simona Halep in three sets, for her second crown in Paris.
She’s the reason why, unlike some, I don’t needle some fans who are following a team or a sport because of one person only. I mean, most of Sharapova’s fans can’t probably tell a forehand from a backhand but are following her because, well, she’s hot and good!